Mercury News reports the State of California has issued driver’s licenses to about 806,000 illegal aliens in the two years since a state law (AB 60) took effect. The licenses facilitate their ability to remain in the United States and compete with citizens and legal residents for jobs.
One illegal alien told Mercury News “It’s a completely different feeling because you no longer have to worry about seeing a police car…You don’t live in fear.”
But with the election of Donald Trump, who promised a crackdown on illegal immigration, illegal aliens who received driver’s licenses under the law now worry they’ll become deportation targets if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents access their Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) information.
The California DMV says it “takes very seriously the protection of personal information for all license holders.” DMV officials said certain certain data-sharing systems enable ICE and other law enforcement agencies to obtain driver’s license information but the systems do not reveal immigration status or whether they received licenses under AB60.
However, ICE can check the license information – e.g., name, gender, address, and date of birth – against the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to determine immigration status if they so choose. SAVE also includes information on the illegal aliens participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, who did not need to get special licenses reserved for illegal aliens under California law.
Read more in Mercury News.
Updated: Thu, Jan 12th 2017 @ 11:30am EST